January 8, 2015

Foreign Recalls Don’t Necessarily Lead to Recalls Here

A New York Times study of motor vehicle recalls in other countries found that “in dozens of instances . . . problems that prompted recalls or other safety-related actions in foreign countries have not been treated with the same urgency in the United States.”

Federal law requires car manufacturers to notify regulators within five days of learning of a safety defect to start the recall process. But, the Times reports, “the seven top automakers in the United States – GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Hyundai – have reported instances to federal regulators when they did not recall cars, even though the vehicles contained the same problematic components as their recalled counterparts abroad.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did not immediately direct any of the companies to take stronger action in any of these cases, the Times said. The newspaper found that car manufacturers conducted at least 33 safety actions in foreign countries that never fully led to American recalls.